Environments such as factories, toilets, care homes, healthcare establishments and schools can all suffer from problems with malodours.
Offensive smells are not only off-putting for your employees, they are also unpleasant for your customers. Failure to remove unpleasant odours can have a negative effect on productivity, profitability and the reputation of your business.
Elimination of odours is often seen as an impossible problem, or incurable, or needing highly specialised equipment. This guide explains how, using appropriate tools and solutions, most odours – including stubborn and persistent odours – can be eliminated.
What is Odour?
An odour or fragrance is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of smell. The terms fragrance and aroma are used primarily by the food and cosmetic industry to describe a pleasant odour and are sometimes used to refer to perfumes. In contrast, malodour, stench, reek, and stink are used specifically to describe unpleasant odour.
The main concern with odour is its ability to cause a response in individuals that is considered to be objectionable or offensive. Odours have the potential to trigger strong reactions for good reason. Pleasant odours can provide enjoyment and prompt responses such as those associated with appetite. Equally, unpleasant odours can be useful indicators to protect us from harm such as the ingestion of rotten food. These protective mechanisms are learnt throughout our lives. Whilst there is often agreement about what constitutes pleasant and unpleasant odours, there is a wide variation between individuals as to what is deemed unacceptable and what affects our quality of life.
Typically, odours are detected at very low concentrations of chemicals and compounds in air. The human nose is very sensitive with, on average, over 5 million scent receptors. Humans can detect concentrations as low as a few parts per billion (ppb), or less in air. Small changes in the chemical composition of an odour can change the smell perceived by the receptor.
Odour Management / Elimination
Opportunities to control odour can be categorised into three components:
All three of these components must be present and connected at the time of the event to result in exposure to odour. If the chain is broken, either because one component is missing, or because it is not connected at the time to the next component, then exposure cannot occur and there will be no odour impact. To prevent exposure, one of the components in the chain needs to be removed or the connectivity of the chain needs to be broken, e.g. the source of the odour is removed.
To reduce exposure (and therefore the impact), control measures are used to reduce the importance of one or more of these components.
Eliminate the Source of the Odour
For as long as humans can remember, nature has used micro-organisms to break down organic waste. This age-old process has been harnessed to create microbiological cleaning products containing active micro-organisms (bacteria) to remove organic waste and smells.
Change the Pathway
Odour neutralisers are chemical compounds that are paired up with malodourous materials in such a way as to prevent the human olfactory sense from perceiving the malodours. When neutralisers are in use, instead of only smelling the unpleasant odour, people are exposed to two different compounds: the malodour and the chemical matched with it that changes how their noses sense it.
Odour eliminators, such as Febreze® and Zybax Odourbond™, are the third generation of odour-control products. They chemically bind with a malodourous compound and change its nature, so that it no longer emits an unpleasant smell. With these products, it is sometimes possible to eliminate odours before they are even detectable which, of course, is preferable.
Zybax and AQFreshtm have combined to create the fourth and latest generation of odour eliminators. The patented technology consists of cucurbiturils – barrel-shaped molecules that powerfully attract and capture VOCs to eliminate them. They act rapidly and keep on working for lasting freshness.
The odour elimination products may be required in places where malodours might have penetrated, such as curtains, carpeting, and furniture (either upholstered or not). These products are designed to penetrate the surface and chemically alter the malodourous materials, hence stopping them from smelling bad.
Pleasing the Receptors
Air fresheners have come to be used less and less often as the odour neutralisers and odour eliminators have become more sophisticated. Nevertheless, some facility managers prefer to have a fresh scent in the air to give a good impression, but air-fresheners try to trick the receptors, the nose, and often leaves a worse combined smell than no action at all.
In a product such as Zybax Advance, the humble air—freshener has been elevated. Adding the revolutionary new supramolecule, AqFresh™ to a fragranced product, binds the fragrance and releases it in response to triggers such as humidity, heat, pH, and the presence of a malodour, enabling targeted cost-efficient long-lasting fragrance delivery and an enhanced sensory experience.
Biobax - Products You Can trust and Service You Can Rely On!
The staff and I were sceptical about Zybax Ultra initially as cleaning only with water seemed a little strange. Despite this we started the trial and within 4 weeks we noticed a massive difference in our residential area. The odour was no longer apparent.
However in our Dementia unit there didn’t seem to be much difference, but we persevered with the product. At around week 6 we very nearly threw the towel in and were going to stop using the product. We decided to carry on for a further 2 weeks, re train domestic staff and carers to ensure the Zybax product was being mixing correctly and used as instructed to ensure we had given it a fair trial. After being away from the building for a few days I noted that the odour had lifted in our Dementia unit, even in the problem areas there was a huge difference. I came to the conclusion that we just hadn’t given the Zybax enough time to work.
Our home is now odour free and we will most definitely be continuing to use Zybax in the future.
Jane Davies, Registered Manager
Are you struggling with an odour in a room, on a carpet or on furniture?
Have you tried everything including deep cleaning?
If this sounds familiar, it is time to Challenge the Odour Doctor!
We will visit you and carry out the Odour Doctor Challenge using our industry leading Zybax Odour Eliminating product range - backed by our performance guarantee, we'll demonstrate how to banish your stubborn odours and leave toilets, kitchens, offices, workshops, homes and many other environments smelling fresh and clean.